The Corner

John Snow

Stephen Moore argues that he is a good man, that he is being treated shoddily, and that conservatives should get behind him. Based on my limited acquaintance with him, I’ll agree with the first point. I’ll agree with the second, too: That Washington Post leak was brutal. I can’t agree with the third.

Moore says that Snow is right about the dollar, which should be set by markets and not politicians. I think that oversimplifies the issues involved, but let’s assume Snow is right. Does it really make sense to have a Treasury secretary whose inartful comments roil the currency markets? (The second Treasury secretary in a row, I might add.)

Speaking of inartful comments: Moore defends Snow’s pre-election remarks about the jobs situation in Ohio by not directly quoting them. The thrust of his remarks, Moore says, was accurate. Well, that’s lovely. Cabinet secretaries are, however, supposed to have enough political competence to avoid saying things that can be taken out of context in a way that is damaging to the president. Appearing to say that job losses in Ohio were a “myth” was not at all helpful to Snow’s boss.

And this record does make one wonder about what Snow might say while Congress is debating Social Security reform.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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